Luxembourg University joins blockchain micropayments

Written by Hannah McGrath

The University of Luxembourg is joining Ripple’s blockchain research initiative, which aims to develop the networks needed for micropayments.

It will participate in the University Blockchain Research Initiative, working on initiatives to change the way consumers pay for content on the internet.

Radu State, who is leading the research at the university’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security Reliability and Trust (SnT) using Interledger payments rails, explained: “Users currently pay for web content either through subscriptions or with their data, through exposure to advertising.

“There’s currently no cost effective, practical way for people to pay per second to listen to music, access quality journalism or watch a film, but micropayments will allow us to pay as we consume, using tiny fractions of a cent that don’t impact our budget.”

Interledger uses a network of connectors - each making exchanges in at least two crypto or fiat currencies - to allow people to route money seamlessly across the Internet and across financial barriers.

One of SnT’s contributions will be to define how connectors exchange this information dynamically, allowing millions of payments per second to take the cheapest route through the network. “Connectors will make money by playing on exchange rates, and since cryptocurrencies are highly volatile we need to ensure that the network copes with this inherent instability,” said State.

Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s minister of finance, said: “In a world in which an ever increasing share of content consumption takes place online, SnT’s project on micropayments, based on Ripple’s Interledger technology, has the potential to significantly improve the way users pay for digital and online content.”

Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative launched in 2018, with the University of Luxembourg one of 17 institutions initially selected.

Ripple has partnered with 30 academic partners to help them identify research, technical projects and other academic activities in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.